(WSCR) New White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had little time to enjoy the honeymoon phase of his new gig.
Days after the club’s official announcement, Hahn made his first move as general manager – locking up pitcher Jake Peavy to a two-year, $29 million deal.
Now, with free agency looming, Hahn must make a decision on the fate of longtime catcher A.J. Pierzynski. The 35-year-old catcher is coming off a career year where he hit .278 with 27 home runs and 77 RBIs. Still, the White Sox are prepared to move on to catcher Tyler Flowers if they have to.
“If it came to the point where Tyler was the guy, the primary catcher come 2013 for whatever reason, we have absolute confidence in his ability,” Hahn told The Mully and Hanley Show. “… In sort of the more important element of the job – sticking to the game plan, the pitch calling, the defensive capabilities and what he can do to enhance the run prevention on the pitching and defensive side of things. Offensively, it’s tough for a young kid when he’s not getting regular at-bats where he can really show what he can do at the big league level. One of the reasons we acquired Tyler was because of the bat. It was probably ahead of the glove at the time when we made the acquisition. We think over a full season of at-bats, you’re going to have a guy who is going to get on base and provide you with some power. The average probably isn’t going to be as high as A.J., but he is going to do some things offensively to help you win.”
LISTEN: Rick Hahn on The Mully and Hanley Show
Pierzynski filed for free agency almost immediately, yet Hahn isn’t ruling out the possibility of the veteran returning to the South Side.
“I certainly wouldn’t hold it against him or any other free agent who filed immediately,” Hahn said. “That’s almost a procedural thing that either the agent or the union does as soon as a guy is eligible to do that. That’s nothing. As for the likelihood of him returning, if you were to ask me two years ago at this time when he last hit free agency if he was coming back, I probably would have been rather pessimistic in terms of the odds of him coming back. Then, at the 11th hour we were able to get something done.”